New Jersey Faces Rise In Hate Crimes, Bias-Related Incidents
New Jersey has experienced elevated levels of white supremacy, racism and anti-Semitism, according to public officials, prosecutors and other experts tracking the trend, Jeff Pillets reports for New Jersey Monthly.
According to experts who track hate crimes in New Jersey, hate crimes have become a cause for concern amid a spew of bias attacks and race-based hate crimes, led chiefly by anti-Semitic and white supremacist groups.
“What we’re seeing in New Jersey, and across the nation, is the mainstreaming of white supremacy,” Susan Corke, an activist with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told Monthly.
In 2021, Anti-Semitic incidents hit a record high since 1979, reaching 370 combined incidents. The number of incidents in 2021 was a 25 percent increase from the previous year and about six times more than the decade low, at over 50 incidents in 2013.
Last April, New Jersey’s attorney general’s office reported that the number of officially recognized bias-related incidents in New Jersey reached 1,871 in 2021. The number marks the most recorded incidents since 1994 and a 400 percent increase since 2015.
Organizations and officials in New Jersey have worked to address this issue: in February 2020, nearly a dozen New Jersey legislators asked the FBI to work toward countering hate groups. And, in response to the rising hate in the state, The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest launched an emergency-alert network and employed a former police chief to keep synagogues safe.
“I wish I could say things are going to get better soon,” Gary Schaer, a Democratic state assemblyman from Passaic County, told Monthly. “But there’s always something new coming out.”